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All the benefits of Gua Sha, plus the best tools to invest in

Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese healing technique that involves dragging a smooth-edged massage tool on your skin to improve blood circulation. This ancient therapy offers a unique approach to better skin care and overall health, by relieving body aches and relaxing sore muscles.

Gua Sha therapy is often recommended alongside other treatments like acupuncture, heat therapy and various massage techniques.

History of the Gua Sha tool

The origin of the tool dates back to the Paleolithic Age. It is believed that when people fell sick or went into a coma, physicians used stones or household materials, such as coins or tins, to massage the patient’s body parts. This helped alleviate some illnesses.

Gua Sha massage was widely popular in ancient China as a folk therapy, thanks to its multitude of benefits. During the era of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the procedure was scientifically computed into major medical records. Although the actual concept of Gua Sha is much older, its first computed record dates back to about 700 years.

This ancient Chinese practice is all about ‘chi’, known as ‘prana’ in Ayurveda. As per Chinese philosophy, an energy flows through our bodies known as ‘chi’. To ensure good health and skin, we must let good chi flow freely, creating a balanced mind and body.

Choosing Gua Sha tools

The Gua Sha tool acts like a facial roller that can define our facial contours like the jawline, cheekbones and under-eye area. To achieve optimal results, you need Gua Shas of different lengths and those that have various curves and angles along their edges. This helps you apply the perfect amount of pressure to stimulate blood circulation, yielding a sculpted face with optimal use.

What are its benefits?

A Gua Sha massage comes with a host of benefits, the primary being lymphatic drainage. It promotes muscle movement, which relieves built-up tension to reduce puffiness, fatigue, acne and other skin concerns.

The facial tool can also heal flare-ups, redness and acne by removing lymphatic congestion and improving blood circulation in your face. This, in turn, helps to renew cells, thereby reducing the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines or dark spots. Improved blood circulation brightens skin complexion and eliminates puffiness.

How do you use the tool?

how to gua sha on face benefits
(Image credit: Kora Organics)

Cleanse your face and apply facial oil, serum or a moisturiser of your choice. Your skin should be slippery so that the tool can easily glide across your face, causing no irritation.

The curved portion of the tool should hug the curves of your face, and the flat portion should be angled to partially rest on your skin. Starting at the base of the neck, drag the wider concave side of the tool towards your jaw. Repeat the motion a few times before you move to the other side of your neck. Remember not to put too much pressure on your skin. The motions should be gentle and smooth.

Next, from the centre of your cheek, scrape downwards to the bottom of your ear. Repeat this a few times and follow the same pattern on the other side as well. Now, start from the side of your nose and drag the Gua Sha along the cheekbones towards the top of your ear. Continue the process for the rest of your face. Once you have massaged your entire face, wipe the Gua Sha with a clean cloth or towel.

(Hero and featured image credit: Cherrydeck/Unsplash)

Here are some of the best Gua Sha tools to invest in:

Try the Jade Gua Sha from Herbivore Botanicals to relax your facial muscles and define the contours of your face. Rose Quartz is known for its skin-loving nutrients such as magnesium, iron and oxygen, which reduces puffiness, promotes blood circulation and brightens skin tone. Don’t forget to cleanse your face and apply an organic face mist or oil before your Gua Sha massage.

(Image credit: Herbivore Botanicals)

Ease muscle tension to get healthier-looking skin with this Gua Sha plate by Decorte. The carefully handcrafted plate is made from porcelain with an easy-to-hold edge. The product is sourced from Mizunami City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, which is known for its long history in pottery.

(Image credit: Decorte)

Say goodbye to your morning puffy face by massaging it with this heart-shaped rose quartz Gua Sha from Kora Organics. The stones exude a soothing vibe and stimulate blood circulation to bring out your skin’s natural glow. For best results, apply a light moisturiser or facial oil before scraping your face with the Gua Sha.

(Image credit: Kora Organics)

Want to get a visibly toned jawline? Odacite’s blue sodalite Gua Sha is crafted to make your skin more radiant while perfectly defining your features. The massage will also reduce the appearance of dark circles, wrinkles, fine lines and dullness.

(Image credit: Odacite)

Jazz up your self-care routine by giving your face a gentle massage with this Gua Sha spoon from Mount Lai. Made from rose quartz, the Gua Sha generates positive energy that revives your skin and mind. Additionally, it serves multiple purposes, from uplifting your cheekbones to releasing muscle tension through acupressure points.

(Image credit: Mount Lai)

Treat your face with a gentle massage using the Kitsch Stainless Steel Gua Sha Tool. The Gua Sha helps relieve tension and improve blood circulation to boost your skin’s brightness and health. Made from 100 percent stainless steel, this tool is non-porous and prevents bacteria build-up, ensuring your skin remains breakout-free.

(Image credit: Beautybay)

With this new addition to your beauty routine, expect clear skin and more defined facial features. The healing vibrations of the aventurine in the Gua Sha from Psychic Sisters leaves a calming effect on your skin, body, and mind. However, remember to cleanse your face before scraping it with the Gua Sha.

(Image credit: Psychic Sisters)

Let all the tension in your facial muscles melt away with the use of this Gua Sha sculptor from Osea. Crafted with a mix of jade stone and resin, this Gua Sha removes dead cells and smoothens your skin texture. It also combats signs of premature ageing like wrinkles, dark spots, and crow’s feet.

(Image credit: Osea)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Who should use Gua Sha?

Answer: Gua Shas can be used for general skin care. However, can also be recommended for people who suffer from muscle ache, back pain and tendon strain. Health practitioners also claim that Gua Sha can improve your immunity and alleviate inflammation. However, Gua Sha scraping must be avoided by those who have had a recent surgery or injury. If you have any of the above-mentioned concerns, it is a good practice to consult a general physician or a dermatologist before using a Gau Sha.

Question: How often should you use Gua Sha?

Answer: Two or three times a week of Gua Sha massage is considered good for the skin.

Question: Are there any side effects of Gua Sha?

Answer: Unless you scrape your skin roughly, Gua Shas would not hurt your skin or leave bruises.

Question: What are the precautions to be taken while using Gua Sha?

Answer: Never roll a Gua Sha over broken skin as it might increase the chance of infections. Additionally, you must cleanse your face and the Gua Sha before a massage. Residues or dirt on the Gua Sha might affect your skin adversely and cause rashes or other allergic reactions.

Nikita Baruah

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